Doctor who forged Viagra prescriptions at Gwent hospital avoids jail
Updated 10:10am Saturday 11th January 2014 in News
A DOCTOR who forged prescriptions for Viagra and took them to chemists pharmacies under a false name because he had been too embarrassed to go to a GP for the medication has been given a suspended jail sentence.
But Mansoor Mohammed Kassim, 37, of Ilford, Essex, who was working at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr hospital in Ystrad Mynach when he stole prescription forms, was told he would have to pay back close to £3,000 in compensation and costs to the NHS.
He was also given a eight-month sentence suspended for 12 months at Newport Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The Argus previously reported how Kassim had used made-up names of doctors and patients to fill out prescriptions for the drug sildenafil, better known by its trade name Viagra.
He had pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft, forgery and fraud between February 25 and October 24, 2013, at Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court in December, when it was said marital difficulties led him to seek out the medication.
During this previous hearing, the court had heard father-of-two Kassim was embarrassed to admit his problem to another doctor and so faked the prescriptions himself.
He took one such form to Pill Pharmacy in Commercial Road under the name of Ravi Kumar. Staff became suspicious as Viagra is not normally a drug prescribed in the trauma and orthopaedic department.
Handwriting analysis costing £600 showed Kassim had written out the prescriptions, although his lawyer questioned whether this had been necessary considering his client’s willingness to admit the crime when questioned.
At the previous hearing the court heard the stealing began on Kassim’s second day working for Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
He was a senior doctor who was about to become a consultant, but an Aneurin Bevan University Health Board spokesman said after the sentencing yesterday that he was currently suspended pending the outcome of the proceedings.
The value of the fraudulently obtained medication was £340.67, which he was ordered to pay back as compensation. The NHS investigation into the matter cost £2,561.11, which will also have to be re-paid by Kassim. In mitigation it was said to be “the most stupid thing he had done in his entire life”.
Kassim was given a four month sentence suspended for 12 months for theft, to run concurrently with another count of theft, three counts of fraud by false representation, and three counts of making a false prescription for a scheduled drug. He was handed a four-month sentence suspended for 12 months for another count of making a false prescription for a scheduled drug, to run consecutively.
He was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.
Martyn Edwards, head of counter fraud at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said following Kassim’s plea in December: “The NHS and the public in general are entitled to expect the highest levels of integrity from clinicians.
"In this instance, the conduct of Dr Kassim fell far short of those expectations. The NHS has absolutely no tolerance for dishonest abuse of a position of trust of this nature”.
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